Brucella suis identification and biovar typing by real-time PCR.
Fast and accurate identification of Brucella suis at the biovar level is an important issue for public health laboratories because some of the biovars that infect suidae (boars and pigs) are pathogenic for humans while others are not. Since classical biovar typing methods are often time-consuming, hard to standardize and require high-level biosafety containment, methodological improvements are desirable. This article describes new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) signatures for the rapid identification and biovar characterization of B. suis. These SNPs were included together with previously described ones in real-time PCR assays applicable to low-biosafety conditions. Allelic profiles unique for each B. suis biovar were defined and the most relevant signatures were determined on a collection of 137 field strains of worldwide origin characterized previously. Biovars assigned with both present and classical methods were globally consistent except for some biovar 3 field strains which matched the allelic profile of biovar 1.